A Harsh Comment

"Ive been checking your blog for a while now…in amongst the pile of
time wasting things I do everyday – as I have no life to speak of.

I spend all my time trying to get stuff to work on a pc and it
become increasingly apparent that this is the microsoft and pc
quest……..Keep you spending money to make it just do something its
supposed to ..or at least what we are told it can do.

I`ll get a better monitor..hey I`ll get 2 that will make the
experience better…I`ll get a better soundcard, more ram an bigger hard
drive a whole new pc cos the new operating system demands more of this
or that…external drives etc etc.

To be honest I`m sick of it……. I just bought a whole new pc after
being fed up of getting sucked into everything and having 2 set ups…2
monitors etc networking…blah blah.

What use is 3 monitors? apart from trying to convince yourself that you need them or too impress visitors….gaming?…….

I`ve had my new set up just over a month again..flat screen etc and
already ive come up against problem after problem……If you actaully try
to use a pc rather than just buy cool bits you are always in trouble
and it will suck the life out of you and your bank balance….

As soon as I can and thats this year Im chucking it all in for a
MAC……I want to just create and work rather than play and having lots of
bits that achieve nothing and just waste time…..but of course make me
thing im doing something cos im on the thing all the time.

Microsoft and pcs in general have us all running around in circles trying to make it better.

Ive seen your blog go from really interesting to kinda lackluster…sorry to be harsh dood.

I am a stamped geek which is to say Im asked to fix stuff that goes wrong by mates cos “im geeky and know all that stuff.”

Geeks it seems are popular right now….The IT crowd I discovered throught your site….but being a geek is kind of seperatist.

The geek builds the pc, sets up the software and keeps it running
for OTHER people to create on….Im fed up with all that I just want
stuff to work ..the minimum needs and maintainance and just get on and
have it work and STOP fiddling with it all.

Ive a few mates that have switched to MACS and now just do stuff rather than tweak their set ups all day (oo er)

I agree with a comment you made before about MACS….to be honest
having this item running on April fools days would have been a much
better idea…"

Jack made this comment on my Triple Monitor post a few hours ago, i feel like i need to straighten a few things out. 

"I`ll get a better monitor..hey I`ll get 2 that will make the
experience better…I`ll get a better soundcard, more ram an bigger hard
drive a whole new pc cos the new operating system demands more of this
or that…external drives etc etc."

A lot of people seem to have major issues with windows, and i dont really
understand why. It works suprisingly well considering, and quite
frankly if there was a ultimately better solution then that would be
used but you have to look at the big picture.

Linux? Its a wonderfully secure system and very stable too, but difficult to configure and lacks drivers for a lot of hardware. It is free tho, if you have the knowledge and compatable hardware then its a great option, but for the average user its jsut not viable.

Mac OSX? Based on Unix, so its secure and stable and very good looking to boot, but only runs on dedecated apple hardware which you pay through the nose for.

If you stand my Home made pc up next to a G5 tower you would be hard pressed to find many real differences, i have tweaked the OS and installed opensource software to give it just good looking and functioning desktop as OSX and the Hardware is neatly installed and tuned. For the time and effort i have put into mine, you pay for on the mac, its already done for you. When mac owners shout from the rooftops how great their Macs are, its the same as me shouting about how good i think my computer is, just that the mac owners paid someone else to do it for them.

You dont need to spend all this money, you can buy a functioning Windows PC for a few hundred pounds and as long as your not using it for gaming or hardcore video/photo editing it will work jsut as well.

"What use is 3 monitors? apart from trying to convince yourself that you need them or too impress visitors….gaming?……."I set up 3 montiors in my room to test for my open day, when as it happens i am trying to impress as many people as possible. I also learnt from the experience and posted it because i liked doing.

"The geek builds the pc, sets up the software and keeps it running
for OTHER people to create on….Im fed up with all that I just want
stuff to work ..the minimum needs and maintainance and just get on and
have it work and STOP fiddling with it all.

You dont have to fiddle, i only mess with the options for fun. As it happens i create a lot of things on windows, including digital art, essays and letters and whole programs.

"Geeks it seems are popular right now….The IT crowd I discovered throught your site….but being a geek is kind of seperatist."

I cant help but find this comment a little offensive, likening geeks to terrorists is a bit extreme. I have been a geek for as long as i can remember, i havnt just jumped on it to be cool.

"Ive seen your blog go from really interesting to kinda lackluster…sorry to be harsh dood."
I know that i havnt been posting anything particually good for a
while. All my time and effort is being poured into my Final Year
Project for Uni and i havent had time to keep up with friends or even
have any kind of social life for the past month let alone have time to
post on my blog.

My uni course is my life and the project is
worth 20% of the whole thing, this next week is going to have a huge
effect on my job prospects and future so i'm giving it everything i
have got.

I get the feeling that some people expect me to
entertain them and write for them just because they read it and its
really not. This is my personal blog, its not done for profit or gain.
The things i post are things that i find interesting or that i have
search long and hard for on the net.

This seems to have turned into a bit of a rant! Its been building up for a little while now, i have a number of posts where people are finding it through google and expecting me to help them without even reading the whole post. Its all starting to get on my nerves, i'm kinda thinking of packing it in at the moment, at least until after my project is over…


Atariboy Logo Competition Relaunch

With one week to go until the deadline for the Logo competition closes i thought i would update everyone with the some changes and details.

I dont want Atari Logos, i’m sorry i didnt say this before, but i didnt realise it until every entry had an Atari logo on it, i dont want to worry about getting sued!

I’m looking for an icon/picture/visual representation similar to the firefox and songbird logos. Almost imagine it as a desktop icon for program called Atariboy.


Something like these popular ones is what im looking for. There is no need to include the name atariboy as i have the logo at the top with that in. I’m looking for a picture now.

There is still a week left

Closing Date: 12pm GMT 31st March 

Email: competition@atariboy.co.uk 

You can view all the current entries in this flickr set: Logo Competition

Oh and i almost forgot… The PRIZE!!!

An Atari 2600 with 5 games and 2 controllers, plus a free t-shirt with the Atariboy Logo on it!


I’ve been coding all day, so im going to have a break and relax with my beloved blog, some bacon and a massive mug of tea.

My project is coming along nicely, i have finished off a lot of things that needed to be done and reduced my massive to-do list by quite a lot. If your particually interested you can read my project proposal here (PDF)
Quick Screen shot:

Seems that my earlier Speedblogging isnt a new thing, i dont have any links saved, but if you google it, a few pages come up, seems that its a blog without styling, just a large chunk of text and links to get the post out there as quickly as possible.

It was interesting, and i did it really fast, but afterwards i felt a bit like i had cheated, in the sense that it wasnt a very nice looking post, and not particually easy to read either. I doubt i will be doing it again for a while.

I’ve decided to compeletly stop the mega IM review, i dont have the time, or the inclination at the moment. Sorry guys.

Another thing i decided tonight is that at the start of april i will be dropping Windows XP, in favour of Win 2000 for gaming, Linux for general use and Vista for testing and coding. Prolly dual booting 2000 and linux on one drive and having vista on the other for when ever im feeling the need to tinker. No idea what distro i’ll use yet so any suggestions are welcome, keeping in mind that i much prefer UIs to Command Lines.

I’ve prefered Gnome to KDE the few times i’ve used them both, but im not too fussed as long as it works well and is easy to configure.

One other thing, can anyone confirm for me that the .net 2.0 framework is built into Vista? I’m pretty sure it is, but i cant find anything confirming it.

Keep those Atariboy logos coming too, there are some really good looking ones there, I have a definate fav at the moment, but there is still 2 weeks left, anything could happen!

Google have released a mobile verison of gmail, http://m.gmail.com its much more rapid than the normal verison, but it doesnt look anywhere near as nice.

There’s also a new verison of Windows Live search, although im not much a fan of microsofts previous search engines, i have to say this one is fast and responsive and give you good results too. [thanks rappy]
The Geeks of Hazzard – a very cool podcast/weblog, love the style sheet on their page too.

After Mikes IT crowd Remix, a contest has shown up and its got mike working on a much better verison with our resident mixmaster comaboy, i’ll keep you posted, but the guitar bits i can hear through the walls sound really good. [thanks crazy]

And i’ll finish with a plug for the IT Crowd group on flickr, which is great :P and a couple pics of the beautiful Lauren

Songbird Preview Released

Earlier today the guys at songbird released 0.1 alpha preview of songbird, the firsthint at what is hopefully gonig to be a great new music player. Its more of a proof of concept model rather than a full program, just to prove to the many doubters that songbird does exist. Its no-where near a finish produce, so you cant do any strict comparisons yet, but so far its looking good, and has a lot of potentional.

The first thing that jumps out at me is the GUI, similar to itunes, thats a good thing in my book, but black, suits my black ipod nano very nicely. Well designed , well placed buttons,and has all the usual media player buttons and functions, one thing i noticed missing was an equilizer, not sure if i couldnt find it, or if it was just not included in this preview. Most certainly the best looking media player in my opinion. It also comes with a second red skin:

And a miniplayer:

Being built on the firefox engine means that instantly Songbird has THE best builtin webbrowser, of any media player i have used, very fast and responsive, just like firefox. It will open pretty much any webpage, i havnt had any problems with it yet.

One of the best features i have found so far is that on any webpage with media items such as .mp3’s or .mpeg files, songbird opens a small menu below the page showing all availbe media on the page, and gives the option to play or download them all or individually, i havnt tried this out very much yet, but its perfect for saving videos embeded in webpages and mp3s from bands webpages with just a couple clicks:

Songbird also handles podcasts very well, allowing you to bookmark feeds from within the player and then have songbird periodly check and download them. Its a very web2.0 browser, and so already works with many web2.0 music services already. As more come along the extension system, much like firefox will allow songbird to be very customisable and extendable.

The extenions are also the most likely way that songbird will connect to your ipod, due to legal implications and problems, which have already been slowing songbird down, i dont think that apple will let the makers include ipod transefers and functionality but there is nothing to stop a third party creating an extension to do just that.

Another thing that i noticed without really meaning to is the excellent way songbird handles online music, i played the 70mb mp3 i posted about yesterday through songbird and was able to jump to anyway where in the song and within less than a second it was playing from that part of the song, i dont know this has been included in any other media players but i was very impressed with the smoothness of it, it didnt seem like i was streaming it from the net at all.

Being an Alpha release, Songbird 0.1 does have its fair share of bugs, we were warned it would be slow, bloated and crashy. And they met all those things, when you drag the window around it doesnt refresh quite quick enoguh, it takes a good 10 seconds to open from cold, and the first time i tried the search music function it crashed straight away, i’ve had about 15 crashes so far today whilst testing out all the different things and had to re-install it once as well. But i didnt expect it to be any different, most pre-release software these days that is made publicly availbe is a beta, pretty much ready for the public and been in development for ages. This is a real life alpha and you have to take it with a pinch of salt, its going to crash and burn, but this release is not ment to be used for everyday music playing, its to show the web what it might be like, and to get feedback on what they have so far.

I’m going to keep watching songbird as it progresses and hopefully it will take over from iTunes as my general music player in the summer when the Beta is scheduled for.

Unfortunatly the website – Songbirdnest.com has been hit by the digg effect, and it struggling to keep up, so for a couple hours you may not be able to get on it, but it is a very good looking website. The graphic designers have been working hard on songbird, and it shows, the graphics on the site, and built into the player make it look very professional, and in this modern world, good looking programs do sell, i know there are a lot of hardcore geeks, often linux fans, who dont really care for the graphics, but there are tons more people who would choose a tasteful gui instead, and prolly wouldnt flame it so much.

I’ve been watching the songbirdnest blog since before xmas 2005, and the amount of flame and abusive comments they have had, many you can see on the digg story at the moment, jsut boggles the mind. Putting down a piece of software just because it looks nice (therefore uses a couple more mbs or RAM) is just petty.

I’ve been using Songbird for a good few hours now, and for playing music its jsut as good as everyother media player, it does everything that you’d expect, except the lack of equlizer at the moment. The only other serious thing i have noticed is that when importing my music, its all in .AAC and songbird does not see any of the artist or album labels that itunes does, im not sure if this is something itunes has done or an error in songbird, but i’ll look into.

You can download high-res screenshots from my Songbird flickr set.

Songbirdnest.comDigg storyProxy fix

Download (8mb) Mirror 1Mirror 2

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Boring day and songbird

I did hardly anything today, last night i played about with thunderbird for checking emails, and tried using rss feeds, but its still very weird and i’m not sure if i’ll get used to it.

Went to dads and watched tv, ate even more left over xmas food than yesterday, and played “buzz” the music quiz on ps2 and won both times :)

The next piece of software i’m looking forward to is Songbird, its a music player built on the firefox technology and looks to be like an open source iTunes, iTunes being my music player of choice, but if songbird can work with ipods then i’ll definatly use it.

And thats about all i’ve done, still waiting on the IBM thinkpad and all my self bought presents to be delievered, hopefully something will turn up tomorrow so i have something to do, otherwise i can see me re-installing windows again, possibly with 2000, jsut to see how well it performs.